Work is not always fun. Even when we love our jobs, there are always aspects we don’t enjoy. Apart from our careers, there are still chores and more “work” in our lives that we must tend to. What is your response when working on things you don’t enjoy? Hopefully, this month’s principle can provide a new perspective:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, above reproach.”
The first part of this principle is straightforward enough. But that doesn’t make it easy to accept or even implement! How do we do “all” things without complaining or pitching a fit? Once we get used to doing certain tasks, we generally tend to stop complaining. We are more likely to grumble when new work is thrown our way, or we have to begin doing old work in new ways. Sometimes, we find ourselves fretting after we have finished a task and then find that someone or something else has messed up the work we have done.
What do grumbling and complaining get us, though? Does it make the task more enjoyable? Does it make it go by faster? Does it make us feel better about having to do it? Not really. The first part of this principle requires us to change our perspective. We can choose to have joy, regardless of what work is before us. Or we can choose to be miserable. Having joy is much more fun than being miserable, regardless of the task.
To help change our perspective, we have the second part of this principle. This has more to do with our impact on those around us. When you are focused on work, and others around you are griping, does that help you? How do you view them in that moment? The same is true when others are hard at work and you are the one complaining. It is not a positive perception and it only demotivates others.
We can’t necessarily force ourselves to like the task, but we can choose to be joyful regardless of the task. As leaders, if we show others we are willing to do whatever work is needed of us without complaining, we remove their excuse to complain in their work. We become blameless and innocent. However, if others see us complaining, we are showing them it is okay to complain in their work also. And that is not the way to build a strong team or a strong culture.
***Note – This has nothing to do with sharing struggles. Complaining and sharing a struggle are two different things. Sharing struggles, even if it has to do with the weight of a task, can be helpful to gain encouragement.